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Boston 22, Us 8, Angie 7, Washington 6, Fbi 6, London 5, Allstate 3, Tracie Potts 2, Chris Hansen 2, Hilton 2, Tyco Integrated Security 2, Nbc 2, The City 2, Ron Allen 2, Michael Leiter 2, Suburban Boston 1, New York 1, The Unabomber 1, Lactaid 1, Brooklyn 1,
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  MSNBC    First Look    News/Business. The day's  
   live news coverage. New.  

    April 16, 2013
    2:00 - 2:30am PDT  

those. and i started to hear from a lot more people, the "i'm okay" signs kept coming through. steve, thank you very much for joining me on this difficult night. our coverage continues. [ explosion ] an act of terror in boston. civilians targeted on u.s. soil during the annual marathon. two bombs explode during the city's signature event, shattering lives forever. listen to the initial police call. >> we have a report of a couple explosions here. we have serious injuries. two explosions. we have casualties here. we have at least a dozen serious injuries.
>> good morning. this is a special edition of "first look." the city of boston remains on edge this morning after a day of celebration was hit by terror. two deafening bombs detonated just second as apart. police describe explosives as small improvised devices. but they had a huge impact. felt and heard miles from the blast site. three people are confirmed dead, including an 8-year-old boy. 140 are wounded and being treated. for injuries ranging from severity from cuts and bruises to limb damage, resulting in amputation. >> there's a variety of injuries. most of them are combined lower extremity issues. a lot of shrapnel injuries. many of those involve the lower
extremities. but shrapnel injuries can affect the entire body. >> the chaos began just before 3:00 p.m. when the two explosions hit on broylston street. shortly after 6:00 p.m., president obama addressed the nation from the white house press briefing room. >> any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice. >> for more on the conditions of the victims, nbc's ron allen is at mass general hospital, where many of the injured are being treated. what can you tell us about the range of injuries? >> the range of injuries is serious. there were about 30 people taken to hospitals yesterday, that were in serious, grave condition. here at mass general, they told us there are at least eight
people who are in surgery and may have multiple surgeries in the days to come. as the doctor said in the sound clip that you aired, most of the injuries are lower extremities, damage to bones, tissue, a lot of damage from flying shrapnel. there were amputations that happened or partial amputations. some are in critical condition at some of the hospitals. there is the possibility that the death toll could increase. the bottom line is, this is going to be a situation that's going to go on for some time. one other point. the doctors said they are asking for donations of blood from the general public. they don't need it now. but they anticipate in the days and weeks ahead, they will because they're running for a lot of blood supplies to deal with the 30 or so patients who were brought here. there's also the mental health component to all this. this was devastating for this city. it was a celebratory day. a day off. a holiday.
the boston marathon here is always a very, very special occasion. a very uplifting occasion. i used to live here. and it was a big deal. a lot of people are feeling vulnerable. there's a lot of anxiety. yesterday, there were police everywhere, trying to determine there were bomb threats in different places. today there was is a security presence the heart of the city. a lot of anxiety and a lot of concern at the hospital by a number of patients, perhaps a couple dozen, that are still in serious condition. >> ron allen at mass general. thanks for that. the fbi is now in charge of the investigation. and one white house official calls the act an act of terrorism. police say they have no suspects. but law enforcement officials have expressed interest in a man seen leaving the area in dark clothing. and there's word of a federal search warrant being executed in a boston suburb.
chris jansing join us live with the latest on the case. >> good morning. the fbi says they're leading a joint federal task force on terrorism. however, they caution that this is a criminal investigation that could turn into a terror investigation. it involves federal, state and local police. and obviously, the question is, who might have done this? and why? they're careful to say there are no suspects. you talk about the warrant that was served in suburban boston. things were taken out of the apartment. but no arrests, no suspects, according to police. the ongoing question about exactly what happened, there is intensive investigation going on right now. everything from the criminal investigation to the forensic investigation, about these two blasts that went off 16 or 17 seconds apart without warning. generally, when there was an act of terror, they might have heard
some chatter. there was no reports that was chatter of any kind. an official at the white house told kristen well kerr that any event is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror. and two members of the u.s. senate said based on the information they are hearing, they believe this is an investigation of an act of terror. of course, this is not the first time that boston has been touched by terror. one of the 9/11 planes took off from logan parairport. if you saw the scenes right afterwards, we saw so many people running towards the blast. there's no doubt in the minds of officials here, that lives were saved because people put their own lives in danger to help those who were so grievously wounded. >> acts of heroism, amid all of the carnage. thanks so much. flags are flying at half-staff in washington today, as lawmakers on capitol hill
amend their schedules in response to what some are calling an act of terror. members of the intelligence committee will be briefed on the explosions at the boston marathon. tracie potts is live in washington with more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. some lawmakers not hesitating to call this an act of terror. the president did not. and you noted some congressional leaders have already been briefed. others get an update later today. >> the house will observe a moment of silence in the memory of the victims of today's attack in boston. >> reporter: congress observing a moment of silence for boston's victims. this morning, the capitol flag remains at half-staff. later today, the fbi, homeland security and intelligence officials brief lawmakers on what they know about the explosions. >> the most important thing is we do it right. we get the right information. >> reporter: lawmakers were quick to call it an act of terror. but the president specifically did not. he sent an fbi team to boston, promising justice.
>> we will find out who did this. and we will hold them accountable. >> reporter: there's a security perimeter around the white house and more security throughout the city this morning. at airports and metro stations. but d.c. officials say the parade, concert and fireworks for today's emancipation day celebration will go on. >> i want people to feel comfortable. come down to the event and enjoy yourself. and feel comfortable it's going to be a safe event. >> reporter: d.c. on high alert, as washington tries to pin down the nature of the attack. also from washington, the irs is telling boston area tax payers if you missed the tax filing deadline last night, don't worry about it. they'll give extensions. and they have an update on how they plan to do that. boston area only. >> good information to know. tracie potts in washington. thanks for that. people at the scene of explosions are speaking out about what they saw. one witnesses said he could feel the explosions from his feet to his chest. a photographer on the scene shared his story with our own brian williams. he was just half a block away
when he first heard the explosion. >> it was just -- it was one of the craziest scenes i've ever seen. nobody knew what to do. half the people were running away. ems was running towards the scene. nobody knew what to do. everyone was in fear. >> this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in the news in baghdad or israel or some other tragic space in the world. >> it went off, me and him were like -- we were rooting on our friend. and boom. both of us, we've been to afghanistan. we expect that there. >> what went on? everybody went, a bomb. >> the first explosion happened a lot further down from us. and the second one was right across the street from us. yeah. it was loud. it was really, really loud.
and people just, chaos everywhere. >> there were families all around us with kids, yelling and screaming. we wanted to try to get away as quick as possible. >> such powerful accounts. after the break, what can authorities do to keep the public safe? plus, you may be waking up to a heightened sense of security where you live. why so many cities are stepping up protections. you have the potential to do more in business.
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in the wake of the boston bombings, federal investigators are on the ground combing through evidence to learn more about the explosive devices and ultimately who was behind this attack. what we do know is that terrorism experts have been warning about an attack like that for years. one on a so-called soft target,
a large crowd that's difficult to protect. nbc's chris hansen has more on the investigation. >> reporter: in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, police are searching for the answer to the obvious question. who is responsible? this, from the boston police commissioner. >> if anybody knows of any information that could lead to arrest or prosecution of individuals responsible for this, they should call us. >> reporter: according to law enforcement sources there were two bombs, possibly in backpacks, which were also loaded with metal objects designed to kill and maim. at first, the police commissioner reported that another bomb had exploded at the jfk library. >> a third one occurred at jfk an hour ago. >> reporter: it turned out to be an unrelated fire. according to intelligence sources, there was no online chatter previous to the bombings. >> we had no indication this was going to happen. >> reporter: a white house official called the bombing an
act of terrorism. here's what counterterrorism experts is telling us what is likely happening in the investigation right now. surveillance video from the numerous cameras in the area is being downloaded and reviewed. and the bomb material that was recovered is being carefully gathered and undergoing forensic analysis. there is something else that will need to be investigated in the days ahead. how is someone able to plant and detonate explosive devices with all of those surveillance cameras, thousands of eyewitnesses and plenty of law enforcement? this man says it's easier than you might think. >> in an open society like the united states, we are vulnerable. >> reporter: shawn henry is the former executive assistant director of the fbi. and is now president of a security company. he says the boston marathon is an event that experts call a soft target. >> it would appear that this particular type of event would be a soft target. compared to, speaking to an
airport or major government building because how large it is how many people would attend, it would be more difficult to protect than a building or something of that nature. >> that was nbc's chris hansen reporting. nervous investors will be looking for fallout over the bombings. and keeping an eye on the investigation in boston. stocks posted their biggest one-day drop of the year on monday. and the sell-off continued overseas this morning. weak economic data out of china sparked the fall. expect to see police and military presents ramped up at major cities across the country today. in boston, massachusetts governor deval patrick says the city is open. though it will not be business as usual. thanks to marathon runners who ran straight to the city's hospitals to donate blood, mass general met all of its blood needs. they are encouraging more donations beginning this morning at 7:30. so, who did this? and what are authorities doing
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joining me from washington, former director of the national terrorism center, michael leiter. he's also an nbc national security analyst. thank you for being here. >> good morning. >> as this investigation gets underway, what steps are investigators taking right now to try to piece this all together? >> the investigators are obviously going to start at the scene. they're going to secure that area as the mayor and police chief have said. that will be a wide cordon. they want to get as much evidence as they can from the devices themselves and the fragments they left. that's important for understanding the signatures that might be paired with past attacks or other groups. from there, they'll spread out. they'll talk to everyone. they'll look at video cameras from businesses. they'll look at records for cars in the area. that will be combined with the fbi -- at the fbi joint terrorism task force, with information that is collected from really across the country and across the world, to see if
there's any indicators from past intelligence or current reporting that might give investigators a better sense of who is behind this. >> and what can you tell us about the explosive devices themselves? were they sophisticated? were they crude? and can we infer anything at all about who did this from the kind of device they used? >> it's difficult to say right now just from the pictures. but what is clear is that these were probably -- and i say very generally probably, that these were mid-sized backpack bombs. a large suitcase bomb could carry up to 50 pounds of explosives and do a significant of damage, more than 150 feet. it looks from the videotape, even though these were destructive and tragically so, killing three, they didn't do major structural damage to the buildings. this suggests combined with reports that there were fragments in there to cause more injury, they were relatively
small. and although had some sophistication, obviously, with two close to simultaneous bombings, they weren't nearly of the massive size we've seen in other circumstances. i would hesitate to really venture a guess as to what to these explosives show us on who did it. trying to figure out if this was domestic or international terrorism just by the size of the explosives is really too early in the investigation to say. >> now, these explosions happened at a time when a high concentration of runners were crossing the finish line. according to "new york times," 42% of runners were finishing up their race. does it seemed to you like this was a well-planned attack? >> no doubt in my view this was well-planned. someone or some individual or some group thought fairly meticulously about getting bombs to this spot. and roughly, at this time. we don't know yet if these were actual waited by a cell phone or
on a timer. but someone understood the iconic nature in boston, the northeast, and to some extent, the country, of the boston marathon. they understood the patriots y payd payday. and they thought about how they could evade security. there was a heavy police presence there. whoever did this gave it significant thought and were trying to maximize casualties. >> so far, there's been no credible claims of responsibility. if this were a terrorist attack, how long does it take for a group to claim responsibility for something like this? >> unfortunately, it takes less time for the people who didn't do it to claim responsibility often than the people who actually did. and although it's true that many cases, terrorist groups want to claim responsibility, there's a rather long history in the united states of individuals not claiming responsibility. 1996, timothy mcveigh, obviously, the unabomber for a
period of decades not claiming responsibility. we may see a claim. we may not. and none of them will be true. >> michael leiter from d.c. thanks for that perspective. >> thanks a lot. just after the break, reaction to monday's bombings has spread well beyond our borders and created a heightened sense of alert around the globe. when we return, we'll look at that. hey! did you know that honey nut cheerios has oats that can help lower cholesterol? and it tastes good? sure does! wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy. into brand-new apartments... before rooftops were transformed into electrical generators...
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as the investigation continues into yesterday's tragedy in boston, the fallout is being felt all around the world today. for details, we go to annebelle
roberts, live in london. good morning. >> good morning. needless to say, the papers across europe are full of this story today. on the front page of "the irish times," you can see a picture of the immediate aftermath. also, a spanish newspaper has a man being treated. and the british papers, too. lines such as carnage at the marathon. attention is also turning to the london marathon, due to take place here this sunday. now, a government minister has said the best way to show solidarity with boston is for the marathon to go ahead as planned. however, security is being reviewed. the organizers say they cannot afford to be complacent. like boston, hundreds of thousands of people turn out to line the route. it's a big family day out. the route passes all london's major landmarks. there are, not to mention, 36,000 runners who take place. the terrorist risk of an attack
in london is already classified as substantial. but officials point to their success, keeping the olympics last summer, safe. >> live in london. this is "first look" on msnbc. don't go anywhere. a special edition of "way too early" live from boston, starts right now. first explosion occurred. and it was kind of -- it was like a sound i had never heard before. it shook you right to the core. and then, you're trying to figure out what happened. we saw the smoke. and then, the second explosion occurred. and at that point, it was pandemonium. everybody started running and screaming. you saw people bleeding. and you know, it was unlike anything i'd ever seen before. >> we still do not know who did this or why.